Weekend Computer Cleaning ADVENTURE

This weekend I decided to give my computer a good once over – it’s been like a year since I’ve had it apart and the dust has been accumulating plus I wanted to top off my watercooling loop. I decided to take a few pictures along the way.

So this is the loop – you can see it’s pretty caked with dust. The tubing is filthy too but I didn’t fee like replacing it. It’s a double and a triple radiator with two pumps built into the pump and the one radiator. Reservoirs are built into each radiator. This is way overkill for just a CPU but someday I’ll get a GPU block to add into it (the dream!).
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The inside of the beast – looks pretty sparse with everything taken out. I used a full can of air blowing it out right after this photo as well as blowing down all of the components.
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All of my fans in one pic! They’re pretty cheap, but quiet. CFM’s aren’t great but they seem to have pretty good static pressure for moving air through the radiators compared to some others I’ve used in the past.
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The sparse front of the case belies the cable monstrosity that lurks in the back.
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And how do you connect 9 fans and 2 pumps to a single motherboard? With one of these doo-hickies! It kind of surprises me that you can run 7 fans off of a single 12V connector….so I try not to think about it.
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Putting it all back together – video card back in place and CPU covered. The radiator in the front is indeed held in place by Velcro – I got some of those glue strips for hanging pictures and whatnot and they keep it in place with minimal vibration. And it makes it a snap to pull the lower radiator if I ever want to bleed the lines. Front looks pretty spiffy!
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And the back is still a mess. Luckily I can jam the back side onto it and smash that mess down and then never think of it again.
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Success! All the fans are spinning so I didn’t miss any!
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And with the side back on, I’m ready to play WoW again.
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Overall a massively fun endeavor.  Whenever you get to the end you always have this moment where you’re like ,’Will it come back on?  Did I screw the pooch on anything?’ and then when it does it’s beyond satisfying – doubly so when your efforts have it running better than ever.

Well, let’s try this blogging thing again

Wow, 2013 was my last post.  It’s strange how quickly time passes, but how little things change.  I guess I’m not the first person to lose interest in trying to keep a blog nor the first to try to pick it up again.

 

Since my last post I’ve been through a lot – changed careers, done some hobbyist studying on programming, drawing, and various topics related to computer graphics, physics, and AI.  I’ve picked up games like Final Fantasy XIV and dropped them only to go back and pick up World of Warcraft again.  I went back to my old raiding guild and was happy to find my old friends had not forgotten me even though I had left for a time.  I’ve beta tested multiple products, bought early access through Steam on some games I believe in, and been involved in a few more kickstarters which I hope to see the light of day (knock on wood!).

 

In short, I’m still just a guy who has an interest in games – in how they’re made, how to best appreciate them, and in playing them.

 

Here’s hoping I can find some thoughts to share about them again even if only for my own satisfaction.

x265 – a multithreaded hevc encoder

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A new HEVC encoder has been released by MulticoreWare – the x265 encoder.

This tool is not being directly developed by the x264 developers, but they have tentatively thrown their support behind it as it should remain open source software.  Discussion about its release and development can be found on the Doom9 forums.

Tom’s Hardware has also done an early evaluation of the speed/psnr of this release.  They claim it encodes at 4 fps on a Core i5 processor – quite a bit faster than the reference encoder.  However it doesn’t offer near as many options for encoding as the reference encoder and only uses a simple GoP with 4 reference frames using P-frames – I would guess this is just the standard encoder_lowdelay_main.cfg we’ve tested with before.  It does produce good results, but it kind of stinks to be locked into it without the ability to tinker.

I haven’t done a full encode with this alpha yet but I have uploaded a copy of the program along with the release notes: x265 alpha release.

Some things to note are that it seems x265.exe automatically sets IDR to output a closed GoP – so seeking will work fine in these files.  It also has an option to set ‘–gops’ whereby you can set the number of GoPs to encode concurrently, which is essentially the exact same thing we did previously with the reference encoder by cutting our source into individual GoPs.  It’s just much more convenient here!